Reiffel, along with Indian umpire Nitin Menon had pulled out of IPL 2021 season amidst concerns over the rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic cases in the country.
The PTI news agency reported that Menon, a resident of Indore, left the IPL bio-bubble after his wife and mother tested positive for COVID-19.
IPL 2021: Umpires Nitin Menon and Paul Reiffel pull out
In Reiffel’s case, it was presumed that the Australian government’s imposition of a travel ban on flights to and from India in the wake of huge surge in COVID-19 cases forced him to take the decision.
But the former Australian fast bowler was unable to leave the bubble after initial information suggested that he has made the move.
Former Test seamer turned umpire Paul Reiffel had his bags packed and tickets booked for a flight to Sydney from Doha only to be told he would have to stay in India. https://t.co/qvvzaY1bKj
— The Age Sport (@theagesport) April 29, 2021
“I tried to, but the flight through Doha, I wasn’t able to go through as an Australian,” Reiffel told Aussie daily The Age from his hotel in Ahmedabad.
“They shut the avenue off. I know a couple of the guys got back that way through there, but the avenue was closed so I had to stay. Yesterday, I was booked to go, but it got cancelled,” he said.
Reiffel will, therefore, now go back only after the end of the tournament on May 30.
“I was 10 minutes away from leaving the bubble, so I’m very lucky,” Reiffel said.
IPL 2021: Adam Zampa terms bio-bubble in India as the most vulnerable
Already three Australian players — Rajasthan Royals fast bowler Andrew Tye and Royal Challengers Bangalore duo off Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson — have pulled out midway through the marquee tournament and more players are expected to follow the suit.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India re-assured all the players about their safety in the bio-bubble.
IPL 2021: BCCI assures foreign players seamless return home amid COVID-19 second wave in India
Currently 14 players , a handful of coaches and a few commentators from Australia are involved in the 14th edition of the cash-rich franchise-based global T20 tournament which began on April 9 and will go on till April 30.
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